Barnsley vs Blackburn Rovers Match report

Carlton Morris came off the bench to inspire Barnsley to a 2-1 win over Blackburn on a rain-soaked Oakwell. The second-half sub scored a superb opener before setting up Captain Alex Mowatt to claim a win that moves Barnsley up into tenth, leapfrogging tonight’s opponents Blackburn who scored a very late consolation goal via ex Barnsley loanee Adam Armstrong. 

 

Both sides made three changes to the sides that played over the weekend. Ismael opted to bring Sibbick back into the defence, presumably to offer more pace to try and contain Armstrong. The big Frenchman also brought Woodrow and Adeboyejo back into the attack at the expense of Morris and Dike.

It was a quiet start to the game with both sides struggling to create any real openings in what was an evenly matched contest. Chaplin was the first player to force a keeper into action when his powerful shot from the edge of the box was tipped away by Kaminski in the visitor’s goal. The strike was struck well but was straight down the middle.

Woodrow then came close when he was found from a corner but he headed well over the bar. The striker will surely feel he should have done better after he did well to slip his marker and climbed highest but couldn’t find the target.

Gallagher was played in over the top by Bennett but the powerful striker couldn’t trap the ball after it skimmed off the wet surface and it rolled all the way through to Collins.

Palmer then came very close for the home side as the ball broke to him at the edge of the box, the midfielder struck the ball well on his weaker left foot but the ball flashed just wide of the post.

Quick thinking from a Barnsley free-kick then presented Adeboyejo with a chance but he was denied by a combination of Kaminski and the bar. A deep free-kick was played into the striker who ran into the box and shot but it was tipped onto the bar and over. Woodrow was screaming for the ball in the middle and a pass might have been the better option.

Blackburn had a few chances before the half time whistle but were unable to sneak in front. Firstly, a succession of dangerous Downing crosses caused issue in the Barnsley box. The ball eventually broke to Lenihan at the back post but his header was straight at Collins.

The best chance of the half fell to Dack just before the break. Armstrong found space on the left and he cut the ball back to Douglas who crossed for Dack who headed over. The cross was just behind Dack which made it harder for the attacker but he should have at least hit the target.

Half Time – Barnsley 0-0 Blackburn

It was a very even opening half with Barnsley perhaps edging it on chances created. Blackburn did have the best chance of the half though but a draw was a fair reflection at the break.

It was a slow start to the second half for both sides and it ended as the first had started really with both sides very well matched. Ismael was quick to go to his bench to change things as he soon made a triple substitution replacing his entire front three with under an hour gone. Morris, Dike and Freiser all coming on to replace Woodrow, Chaplin and Adeboyejo.

The changes seemed to give Barnsley a real lift and Morris in particular settled into the game very well and looked a threat from the moment he stepped onto the pitch. He almost scored with his first touch, he was found in the box but Lenihan slid in brilliantly to block his goalbound effort.

Mowatt then was next to try his luck when the ball broke to him at the edge of the box but his shot was dragged well wide. Barnsley were certainly on top following the changes.

Morris again was involved in a good piece of play as he showed good skill to evade his marker before finding fellow sub Williams who replaced Styles at half time who went off with a suspected knock. The ball was driven in low towards Dike but the pass was just cut out before the young American could tap home.

The Barnsley pressure continued and they came close again when Brittains deep cross found Helik but his header back across goal evaded everyone. The towering Pole could have gone for goal himself but opted to head back across goal.

The pressure eventually did tell though and Barnsley did open the scoring on 72 minutes and it was a wonderful strike from Carlton Morris. He had looked lively ever since coming on and his curling effort from the edge of the box found the bottom corner for his second goal in two games.

The striker picked up the ball on the edge of the area and bent the ball right-footed into the far corner, it clipped the post on the way in. Kaminski in the Blackburn goal had no chance. Barnsley who were much improved following the managers triple change got their deserved lead.

Blackburn did look to hit back almost immediately through Armstrong but he was just beaten to the ball by Collins after a long ball over the top looked to set the striker through. The keeper was alert to the danger and came out well to punch clear.

Back down the other end Morris came close to doubling his and Barnsley’s tally for the night but this time Kaminski was equal to his effort. The striker was found in space inside the area but his curling effort was saved this time.

Barnsley soon had a huge chance to grab a second but it was wasted first by Freiser, then by Morris and finally Mowatt. Dike did well to win his header from a long ball forward, he flicked it on to Frieser who ran through. The Austrian opted not to shoot but instead crossed for Morris, he chose not to shoot first time and tried to cut back onto his right foot which allowed a defender to close him down. This forced Morris to pull it back to Mowatt who fired well over under pressure inside the area.

However, Mowatt didn’t have to wait long for another chance and this time he and Morris combined to score the crucial second for Barnsley. Dike won his header again and found Frieser who came off the right to pick out Morris who held off his marker and flicked the ball through to Alex Mowatt to run through and score in the last minute of normal time.

The Barnsley Captain showed great composure as he rounded the keeper before slotting the ball into the empty net to all but seal the three points for the South Yorkshire side.

That should have been it for the game but there was still time for some late drama in added time. Adam Armstrong pulled a goal back with just a minute to go in extra-time. Barnsley were caught napping at the back with too many bodies forward and Armstrong got in behind and he lobbed the onrushing Collins with a great finish to offer the away side a glimmer of hope.

There was a real heart in mouth moment right at the death too when the ball was played in from a deep free-kick but just as sub Ben Brereton looked to shoot after bringing it down well, the linesman raised his flag much to the relief of the Barnsley players and the fans watching at home.

Full Time – Barnsley 2-1 Blackburn Rovers

MOTM – Carlton Morris, despite only coming on in the second half the big striker totally changed the game, and it was his goal and assist that proved the difference between the two sides.

The first-half was a pretty dull affair with both sides very well matched. Ismael won the game for his side with the changes early in the second half as that added physical presence up top was too much for Blackburn and it helped guide Barnsley to a deserved win.

Ismael will not be happy with the late goal his side conceded but he will be delighted with the three points and certainly has a selection headache for the weekend’s game trying to work out who starts in the front three.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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